Two seconds — this is the average attention span of visitors on a web page, and if the page doesn’t load within this time, readers start bouncing off.
Increased page load time will turn into an increased bounce rate and decreased ad revenue, which is bad news for publishers.
To tackle this issue, Google launched an open-source initiative called Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP).
What Is Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)?
Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) is an open-source project launched by Google to ensure that mobile web pages operate at an optimal speed. It aims to improve the web page experience for users by enabling publishers to create faster web pages and ads that are consistently fast and high performing across devices.
Since its launch, over 1.5 billion AMP pages have been created by leading Ad Tech and CMS providers.
In addition to this, AMP pages are also powered by Google AMP cache which helps with faster load times on Google Search.
How Does Amp Work?
The AMP Framework was designed to make sure that users get an optimized and faster experience on web pages (as opposed to the slow and clunky load times of times past).
Great documentation that makes AMP easy to deploy and a user’s first approach is the framework’s biggest strength. Overall, the AMP framework plays a huge role in providing a path to create faster and more optimized mobile web pages.
Since AMP pages were developed, their load times and speed have continuously improved. It now takes less than half a second for pages to load. This resulted in 10% more traffic to publishers’ pages and also improved time spent on these pages.
Compared with normal pages on the mobile web, AMP pages, load 4X faster than normal pages resulting in 33% more user engagement.
Advantages of AMP
- AMP pages are open pages and can exist beyond Google
AMP pages are not restricted to Google products at all. Users can visit AMP pages directly just like non-AMP pages, which helps with better accessibility and improves user experience.
- Publishers can exercise greater control in all aspects of their AMP pages
One of the biggest advantages of AMP pages is that it gives publishers much-needed control over their pages. A publisher can control everything ranging from their monetization strategies to their content presentation while also building a direct connection with their readers.
- AMP does not affect your ranking as a separate factor
AMP pages are not a ranking factor on Google. AMP pages are given ranking on the same basis as HTML pages — this gives publishers a sense of security when building AMP pages as they will be judged on metrics similar to HTML pages.
- Increase in web traffic
You can expect better traffic to your site with better SEO. In addition to improving your SEO, AMP will reduce your bounce rate if your content is exceptional. If your content is exceptional, you are more likely to get good session numbers from users.
Disadvantages of AMP
- Decreased Ad Revenue
Even though AMP officially supports ads, inserting them on your page is not an easy task due to their coding structure. Since AMP pages are designed to be minimal and simplistic, they usually get rid of all the extra things on a page, which might also include meaningful advertising.
- Less Analytics
AMP pages usually support analytics under various different tags on a page, hence the process of extracting information from those tags separately becomes a hassle and may require additional resources for apt analysis.
- Decrease in Leads and Subscribers
AMPs are designed for a simple and hassle-free user experience, hence they also remove all extra widgets and side content from the page which might result in the removal of side-placed social buttons, affecting one’s email subscribers and leads too.
Client Side Header bidding in AMP
Since AMPs limit JS tags, it becomes hard for publishers to implement header bidding on their pages. However, with time, publishers have found a way to implement header bidding through RTC and header bidding wrappers.
In client-side header bidding each client gets access to their cookies for browser and meta information. This further helps in the process of mapping down requests and increasing the bidding prices — eventually increasing RPM and the overall publisher revenue.
However, in client-side header bidding, multiple requests are sent at the same time to participating ad networks and require proper ad implementation as it can impact the performance of a page directly.
Server Side Header Bidding in AMP
In server-side header bidding, only one request is sent to all the ad networks, which leads to a lesser load on the webpage and less effect on its performance while also increasing the number of networks that can bid for the inventory space.
With server-side header bidding, the information shared depends completely on the ad server upon which the bidding is taking place. This can result in lower bids as most of the bidders do not have the capability to match user demands.
Future of AMP
AMP will continue to grow at a rapid rate, with more publishers opting for AMP pages to improve customer experience and provide optimal loading time as well. With the presence of RTC and header bidding wrappers, publishers are now able to increase their ad revenue as well, which really makes AMP pages the way to go in the future.
AMP pages have high viewability scores, which leads to increased eCPMs. However, publishers’ technological shortcomings dilute those benefits. AMP only works on mobile devices if you treat it like premium inventory. In other words, you need to find advertisers who are specifically seeking AMP mobile inventory.